I can see where the writer is coming from in so many respects of this article and I agree with much of it even though (by the way) it IS an old article. Note the episodes he references. While everyone is flailing away at BAD Cesar Milan did anyone miss something huge in this article?
The part that said "compulsive" behaviors are always neurological?
The last episode (compulsive disorder) is particularly unsettling because compulsive disorder is related to an imbalance in neurotransmitter levels or receptors, and is therefore unequivocally a medical condition.
Unequivocally? Really? That means (in the abjective form):
Admitting of no doubt or misunderstanding; clear and unambigous
To that I reply: Horse Manure. A lot of "compulsive" behaviors are learned or created due to lack of exercise or some kind of positive interaction. Like tail chasing etc. Excuse me, Mr. Expert, so all puppy mill dogs who might circle incessantly or exhibit other compulsive behavior, they ALL have a "medical condition?" How about they've never been out of a CRATE?
If all compulsive behaviors were due to bad brain wiring you'd never cure an animal or help them overcome it, get through it, whatever the latest PC buzz-word is. In my opinion, it's a ridiculous blanket assumption. I don't care how many vet degrees you've got. Unequivocally? Well, heck, let's just nuke the poor dog, he'll never get better.
I see the veterinary community becoming a lot like human medicine...let's medicate the heck out of the animals instead of holistic health, training for pet AND owner, etc. etc. When was the last time you heard a vet that wasn't some expensive big shot vet saying, "Man, get your dog to a positive dog training class!" or "Go online and look up Clicker Training," or "You know what your dog's problem is? YOU!" Uh, I think not. Too bad more don't. The animals would be better served.
I think the writer would have been better off giving some constructive alternatives instead of just criticism, just flaunting his "expertise." So do tell us, Doc, how would you handle those three cases??
I'm not saying Cesar's handling of those three dogs was right, correct or appropriate. Far from. I'm sorry but it's like a theater critic who's never been IN a real show in any capacity pontificating on how crappy Joey's little theater show was. How about you get out of your ivory tower, go to Bumflip, Iowa and you help some poor sod work with his tail-chasing dog, Doc?
Oh, here's a thought...how about if you go around to poor communities, isolated communities and just do a free or low cost seminar helping hands on with troubled dogs and their distraught owners instead of writing articles?
You want someone who's helping people, look up kikopup on Youtube; she's doing it for free, although I'm sure she'd appreciate some bread. Click on the link....
What Cesar Milan has done, right or wrong, agree or disagree, is he's made desperate dog owners AWARE. Aware, for good or ill, that there is something out there to help your problem dog.
I got news; when you have a big time dog problem you feel isolated. Like no one else gets it. That there are no other resources. I've been there. I have felt truly desperate and alone. I wept buckets of tears. I have blamed myself.
Remember in 2005 we didn't have nearly the resources on YouTube, Facebook etc. I still get questions about problem animals if I do a program. Dog classes can be expensive; not that you shouldn't take them, you should. But when if you don't drive like me? Or they're not anywhere even close to where you live? People still don't know where to go or whom to turn to.
Agree or disagree on his methods but...face it.....
Ten to fifteen years ago, his methods, right or wrong were THE NORM. Is it archaic? Sure? Are they still used? You betcha. Check out some performance dogs or schutzhund.
Let's face it too; most of those dogs on his show would have been dumped or killed.
He's also made people aware that their dog is picking up on their "energy." It's going right down the leash. What is so bad about that message? My first dog teacher told me that in 1993. I've had my Positive Training Friends call me out on this all the time! Three weeks ago was the most recent and they were right! I know if I'm all weirded out, my dog is going to be too! It happened three weeks ago!
Cesar Milan has also done a lot for Positive Pit Press. I think, for good or ill, him being on TV with his Daddy dog has done a whole heck of a lot to turn people's minds away from the Bad Pit Bull Dog Syndrome. You may not like his methods, think them cruel, archaic, whatever..... but for the Pit stuff you all really need to give him some credit. Just my opinion.
He kind of started the trend of Dog "Training" TV shows and other people, like Victoria Stillwell have run with that in a more positive training approach. He made it viable TV.